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Asterisk for Audubon

by William F Dougherty

[Light edition.]

The pigeon’s a pedestrian that flies
in nature's face: he struts about on red-
chalked toes, rejects wide pigeon-colored skies,
and rudders down in parks peck at bread,
peels, shells, shunning alien green of trees
to roost in eaves and lime a city street,
and take unmolested feather-brained ease
from bus fumes, noise, hospitable concrete.

So what, he bobs, panhandling is no crime
for birds or banks--tweak the genetic plan.
Choice and habit trumps nature in good time,
for waddling pigeons or for weasling man:
Not every bird’s ordained to soar or sing--
instinct, he thrums, can be an iffy thing.


Posted on 07/20/2012
Copyright © 2021 William F Dougherty

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Dane Campbell on 09/18/12 at 05:04 AM

I have spent the day reading the libraries of several authors on this site and, again, I really enjoy your style, which I am learning can be elegant and polished or possess a down-to-earth, very accessible charm as this work demonstrates.

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 09/23/12 at 09:57 PM

Unique...thought provoking capture of one the most ubiquotous of bird residents in any city. I can vividly recall feeding one some of my Starbucks croissant one morning while waiting for the bus to work. Within a minute, others quickly arrived to claim their share. French fries are another fun way to stir up a bird encounter, especially with seagulls. Thanks for the well worded reminder! :o)

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 09/25/12 at 03:56 AM

There is so much I like about this - the comparison of this opportunistic bird with the "weasling man" elevates this to a timely piece. And we do seem to feel the need to feed these pigeons, something that amazes me. ;) Perhaps it is their soft "coo" that hypnotizes. Your writing seems effortless to me. Thanks for this.

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